The Trouble With Physics tries to be about physics, but it's more about the politics of physics. Of course, since physics is the original Big Science, there is very little about physics that isn't political. Smolin's thesis is that string theory stopped being a proper theory a good while ago, and is now something more like a political party. Or a cult.
Maybe people who haven't had much exposure to science might find this booking shocking. Science, as it happens, is fiercely competitive. Most of the scientists I know are kind, delightful people. But science doesn't give much credit for being nice, it gives credit for being right. And not everyone is going to be nice all of the time. When millions of dollars in research funding is at stake, there will inevitably be people who will do things that should not be done. Smolin argues that realpolitik has come to dominate physics research, particularly in America.